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Postsecondary Data Partnership

The Postsecondary Data Partnership is a nationwide effort to help colleges and universities gain a fuller picture of student progress and outcomes, meet various reporting requirements, and identify where to focus their resources increase student success. It is dedicated to the idea that easier access to better data enables colleges and universities to create interventions and program improvements that lead to better student outcomes.

The National Student Clearinghouse® is uniquely positioned to support the Postsecondary Data Partnership because more than 3,600 colleges and universities — enrolling over 99 percent of postsecondary students nationwide — already trust us for student enrollment and degree completion reporting.

One of the biggest barriers to improved data gathering and utilization by colleges and universities is the cumbersome process of collecting key data and metrics, then reporting them for voluntary and mandatory data collections. Currently, institutions must submit data — much of it similar — to multiple agencies and organizations, including national associations, grant funders, and national initiatives.

The result is a complicated web of data exchanges that entail a significant amount of duplicated effort. Building on the Clearinghouse’s current capacity, the Postsecondary Data Partnership will serve as a hub for collecting, verifying, and reporting data back to participating institutions and organizations.

Access to meaningful data helps institutions make informed, data-driven decisions that support student success initiatives, especially for students facing hurdles getting into and getting through college. The ability to distinguish and understand trends from the data about low-income and first-generation students, students of color, and adult learners, will provide institutions the ability to assess if their student success initiatives are working.

Program Benefits

  • Access to current data to help meet reporting requirements for voluntary initiatives using a consistent set of key metrics
  • Focus more resources on using — rather than preparing data — to enable process and program improvements that facilitate better outcomes for students
  • Industry-standard data validation
  • Access to interactive data visualizations and dashboards on key performance metrics on topics such as access, progression, and completion
  • Aggregated dashboards for voluntary reporting to initiatives and other entities
  • Customer support throughout process

History of the Postsecondary Data Partnership

The Postsecondary Data Partnership is supported through grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates and the Lumina Foundation. In 2017, Phase 1 of the partnership commenced, which was to build a pilot solution to which participating colleges and universities submitted data that they already send on a regular basis (e.g., enrollment, degree awards, etc.). During the pilot, the Clearinghouse processed and validated the data and developed an initial set of online analytical dashboard reports.

Initial users were comprised of the Frontier Set, a select group of colleges and universities, state systems, and supporting organizations committed to significantly increasing student access and success and eliminating racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in college attainment. The work of the Frontier Set is supported through grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

In 2018, Phase 2 expanded the partnership to institutions involved in reporting to initiatives, associations and organizations. This phase includes the initial release of an online interactive analytical dashboard reporting on access, progression, and completion among others.

Phase 3 (2019 and beyond) focuses on further participation in and sustainability of the Partnership, transitioning it away from direct foundation funding.

How to Participate

The next data intake window for data submission will begin January 28, 2019, and end March 8, 2019. To learn how to participate, please see “Getting Started,” or email us at

Getting Started

  1. Submit your executed agreements and amendments, which were sent to all Frontier Set schools, to the Clearinghouse
  2. Submit your onboarding questionnaire, after you receive it from the Clearinghouse
  3. Attend live webinars and/or review recordings
  4. Program efficiently: Review the step-by-step instructions on file submission and validation
  5. Submit your files
  6. Review the status of your files

Upon receipt of your contract, you will receive from us:

  1. New set of credentials to submit files for the Postsecondary Data Partnership
  2. Onboarding questionnaire
  3. Your Postsecondary Data Partnership service ID, which you will need to include in your submission files so we can identify you successfully
  4. Application credentials to review file submission

Please email us at with any questions.